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SC to hold freedom of expression conference

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The Supreme Court (SC) through its education arm, the Philippine Judicial Academy (PhilJA), will hold a symposium on “Contemporary and Enduring Challenges to Freedom of Expression.”

The SC stressed that while the symposium will be held on Dec. 10 and 11 in Manila, it needed to announce the event early because its Committee on Human Rights and International Humanitarian Law has started accepting abstracts on the topic of freedom of speech, expression and the press, and its cognate rights. The deadline for submission is June 15.

The symposium aims to enrich the discourse on the impact of contemporary developments in the exercise of these fundamental freedoms and encourage critical legal scholarship on the decisions and policies of the Court,” the SC said, in a media briefer.

According to the tribunal, members of the bench and bar, law practitioners in the private and public sectors, members of the academe, law students, and other interested individuals are invited to submit their work and “all submissions will undergo blind deliberations.” Rey Requejo

It also said the topics relevant to the freedom of expression are: artificial intelligence, technology, and human rights; disinformation, “cheap speech,” and similar contemporary challenges to democracy; the Cybercrime Prevention Act of 2012; press freedom; the right to publish and to information; the right to reputation and to be forgotten; the Anti-Terrorism Act of 2020 and fundamental freedoms; and any other relevant topics on freedom of expression and its cognate rights.

The other requirements and conditions set by the SC in the submission of abstracts include:

Authors are discouraged from doing simple surveys of jurisprudence here and/or abroad. While important to point to recent jurisprudence, the symposium aims to surface the challenges presented by new issues, contemporary philosophical and hermeneutical approaches as well as sociological impacts of past approaches to freedom of expression. Premium will be given to interdisciplinary approaches that can inform jurisprudence.

Incumbent as well as retired members of the judiciary are encouraged to participate but shall not be given any advantage in the evaluation of their abstracts.

Authors are invited to submit abstracts not exceeding 500 words on their original, unpublished papers for an initial screening. Each author may only submit a maximum of two abstracts.

Co-written works are allowed, but only the authorized representative should access the registration form to submit the abstract. Should the study be selected, only one author can present the study in the symposium.

After the screening of the abstracts, selected authors will be required to submit their full papers, which should have a minimum of 10,000 words but not exceeding 20,000 words. No extension shall be granted to any of the authors of shortlisted abstracts.

These papers will also undergo blind deliberations by a panel of experts, and only twelve (12) papers will be selected to present during the symposium.

Authors are discouraged from using generative AI or similar technologies in expressing their content. All participants should disclose their use of any form of AI, including for purposes of generating research ideas, research data, research references, checking grammar and style.

The stressed that all submissions shall also contain a statement that no copyright infringement or plagiarism has been committed.

“By responding to the call for papers, submitting an abstract and a full paper for the symposium, the author agrees that their work may be used (i) by the Judiciary or by educational or professional institutions when such use is in the public interest and compatible with fair use; (ii) for the purpose of any judicial proceedings or for the giving of professional advice by legal practitioners,” the SC said.

“Further, terms concerning copyright over full papers submitted for the symposium shall be transmitted to authors at a later date. Notwithstanding the foregoing, authors shall retain moral rights over all works submitted to the symposium,” it added.

While the deadline for the submission of the abstracts was set on June 15, the release of the results of accepted abstracts will be on June 30, while the submission of the full papers will be on July 31, the SC said.


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